Jamaica’s Atkinson is 1st black woman to win world swimming title

Last Updated on Tuesday, 9 December 2014, 22:16 by GxMedia

Alia Atkinson (photo from

San Juan, Dec 9 (EFE).- Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson said she will never forget the moment she became the first black woman to win an international swim title after prevailing in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Fina World Swimming in Qatar.

“It was Alia Atkinson first and then the joy and all the other emotions associated with victory came out,” the 25-year-old swimmer told The Jamaica Observer on Tuesday.

She said “it was a signal moment not only in my career and but in my life. A moment one can never ever forget.”

The international swimming federation, known as FINA, confirmed that Atkinson completed the race in 1:02.36, equaling the record set by Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte.

“First female swimmer from the Caribbean, and I believe first black female swimmer in over 40 years. This is not just mine,” Atkinson said in the caption for an Instagram photo posing with her gold medal.

Atkinson represented Jamaica in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

She holds eight national swimming records in Jamaica, according to her official Web page.